|President Mohamed Morsi|
Afters days of demonstration by anti-Morsi forces, the Egyptian military had given President Morsi 48 hours to reach an agreement with opposition groups on a way out of the massive protests or risk military intervention. The military suggested some sort of power sharing arrangement with the opposition.
On Tuesday night President Morsi defiantly rejected the military ultimatum, angrily insisting that he was the legitimately elected President of the country and any move to remove him from power would only result in a chaotic situation in the populous African country. As he made his speech, thousands of his opponents milled in Cairo's Tahir Square, demanding his removal from office.
|General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi|
In a very defiant tone on Tuesday Mr. Morsi told the country that, "Legitimacy is the only way to protect our country and prevent bloodshed, to move to a new phase. Legitimacy is the only thing that guarantees for all of us that there will not be any fighting and conflict, that there will not be bloodshed.” He further went on to add that “If the price of protecting legitimacy is my blood, I’m willing to pay it. And it would be a cheap price for the sake of protecting this country.”
In a sign that power was slipping out of the hands of Morsi, shortly after his speech his own cabinet reportedly released the following statement to social media. "The cabinet declares its rejection of Dr. Morsi’s speech and his pushing the country toward a civil war. The cabinet announces taking the side of the people.” After this statement by his own cabinet and resignations by many members of his own government, it was clear that the writing was on the wall for President Morsi and it was just a matter of time
However, some senior members of President Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood Party had defiantly stated that they would be willing to lay down their lives to prevent his ouster from office. In Nasr city, a suburb of the Egyptian capital Cairo, thousands of Morsi supporters had also been holding counter demonstrations against his impending removal from power. At Cairo University a call by the Muslim Brotherhood to reject the military ultimum resulted in gun battles between pro and anti-Morso supporters.
In response to Morsi's defiant statement, Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, issued the following statement on their Facebook page: “We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.”
|Morsi Must Go|
After the military ultimatum had passed this evening without any talk between Morsi and opposing forces, the military stepped in to remove Morsi from power stating that he had failed to meet the demands of the people. The army Chief of Staff General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi flanked by members of the political and religious establishment announced that they were suspending the country's highly Islamic consitution and replacing President Morsi with the Head of the Country's Supreme Constitutional Court Adli al-Mansour as Interim Head of State. Mansour was to be sworn in on Thursday.
Morsi had been democratically elected after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak during the "Arab Spring," but had grown increasingly unpopular due to the poor Egyptian economy and a a growing fear of increased Islamization of government. On his Facebook page this evening, President Morsi has rejected his removal from office. His whereabouts remain a mystery.